Mercedes-Benz E-Class Family Updated for 2021, Pricing Adjusted
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is receiving a series of updates for 2021 — including some new engine options, styling adjustments, and the obligatory infotainment updates. There’s even a new lifted version called the E450 4Matic All-Terrain that’s clearly targeting fancy alternatives to the Subaru Outback (e.g. the Audi A6 Allroad).
Unfortunately, these enhancements have raised the price of the E-Class slightly. The base model E350 now starts at $55,300 (including destination), which seems a lot to ask for a 2.0-liter turbo making 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. That’d be a juicier package inside one of Mercedes’ smaller products and opting in to an all-wheel-drive 4Matic brings the price $57,800 before you’ve even had a whiff of the 3.0-liter inline-six. But you do get Daimler’s updated MBUX software across the range and a longer list of interior material choices and styles. Though our readers seemed to really hate the interior found in the new S-Class and we’re doubting you’ll be any fonder of the wavy lines found inside the refreshed E-Class family, even if they’re not drastically different from what was available beforehand.
You might dig the infotainment system, however, especially if you splurge on the dual 12.3-inch screen option that butts the digital gauge cluster against the center console. While we think Daimler is engaging in some less-than-savory monetization using its MBUX system, it’s one of the slicker interfaces in the industry and big on customization. But it still feels like the automotive industry is spending way too much of its time focused on digitizing vehicles, with German firms being among the worst offenders.
Voice command and gesture controls are both available but we’re always skeptical of anything that takes physical interactions out of the equation. Buttons may be unsightly but they are often the more intuitive option for common actions. But Mercedes’ optional full-color head-up display is so cool that we really don’t need it to be super practical to enjoy it.
Fortunately, M-B hasn’t ignored the E-Class’ more-traditional hardware. E450 models open the door to the brand’s 3.0-liter turbo I6 engine producing 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That’s been supplemented by 48-volt mild-hybrid technology that can tack on another 21 hp and 184 lb-ft when needed. E450 4Matic Sedans start at $63,050 with the 4Matic Cabriolet coming in at $75,500. Coupe models enjoy mid-tier pricing with rear-wheel drive examples starting at $66,000.
Mercedes-AMG E53 models come with a beefed-up 3.0-liter unit producing 429 hp and 384 lb-ft before the mild-hybrid helper comes into play. They also come with uniquely tuned suspensions and unique AMG styling cues both inside and out. Customers can expect to spend around $75,000 for the privilege of owning one, with coupe and convertible models being several grand steeper.
Of course, you’ll probably prefer the E63 S and its holdover (600+ hp) 4.0-liter bi-turbo engine if you thinking about AMG. Just be prepared to drop $108,550 for the sedan and an eye-watering $113,500 for the wagon.
Speaking of wagons, the E450 now comes in the aforementioned “All-Terrain” trim. Essentially a raised version of the 4Matic E-Class wagon, the All-Terrain adds ruggedness through some unique styling cues (black cladding) and its own air suspension system. Expect to spend at least $68,650. There’s also likely to be a plug-in hybrid option for the base-model E-Class. But it seems as though Daimler intends on keeping that one out of the North American market. The rest of the family should start appearing on dealer lots before the end of this year, however.